Louisa Rogers Talk


47 Pilgrim Street
 NE1 6QE


Monday 10th February 6-8pm


Louisa Rogers, founder of vintage studio Trendlistr.com and Fashion Communication lecturer at Northumbria University will be hosting this talk in association with Colour Collective UK.

Learn about the constantly evolving meaning of colour in fashion from 1859 to present day. We’ll explore the seminal moments and iconic designs one colour at a time.

We previously held this event in May 2018 and while the talk will be updated, you may not wish to attend if you came to the original event. 

Louisa studied Fashion Photography & Styling at the London College of Fashion before moving on to a Creative Entrepreneurship MA at Newcastle University.

After winning a prestigious Founderships Grant she set up Trendlistr, an online destination for curated vintage clothing styled in modern, trend-led ways. She is a founding committee member of Colour Collective UK, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes colour education through multidisciplinary workshops and lectures.

Her interest in fashion history and theory has led her to deliver talks on the emergence of vintage fashion, fashion & subcultures and the significance of colour in 20th century clothing to a range of organisations.

She now lectures on Fashion Communication (Northumbria University) and Fashion Journalism/Designand Promotion (Sunderland University) as well as covering the Creative and Cultural industries for a postgraduate course at Newcastle University.

Find out more about Louisa’s work: www.LouisaRogers.net

Colour Collective in Conversation with Karen Haller – North East Book Event

CCUK hosted a colourful book event with one of their sponsors, Karen Haller, an Applied Colour Psychology Practitioner.  Karen was in conversation with Susi Bellamy, artist and CCUK Chair.

The event was organised in conjunction with Forum Books, an award winning independent bookshop in Corbridge and held in The Biscuit Factory, the UK’s largest independent commercial art, craft and design gallery set in the heart of Newcastle’s cultural quarter.

Susi and Karen had a lively conversation discussing how colour can be positively embraced and ways to bring it into our everyday life; how colour makes us feel; why we are drawn to certain colours yet dislike others; how we can use colour in our clothes, our home, in our everyday life to help us create positive feelings and responses to support everyday happiness.  The discussion ended with Karen addressing audience questions and was followed by a book signing.

Karen enjoyed meeting the CCUK audience and the event confirmed her long held view that the North East loves colour!

CANDO Talk & Print Workshop


Pilgrim Street


Wednesday 20th November


The CANDO Project (Controlling Abnormal Network Dynamics Using Optogenetics) is hosting this talk and workshop with Colour Collective.

The CANDO Project (Controlling Abnormal Network Dynamics Using Optogenetics) is hosting this talk and workshop with Colour Collective UK to raise awareness around research into epilepsy treatments using neural implants to control fluctuations in activity. The event consists of a talk where the project will be explained in greater detail and is suitable for attendees of all backgrounds. We will then be participating in a printmaking workshop with INCUBATE Experimental Printmaking, details of which are TBC shortly.

The talk will be given by Prof Andrew Jackson of the Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University. Please find the abstract below.

Brain-Machine Interfaces decode electrical activity directly from the nervous system to provide a new communication channel for the brain to interact with the environment. Meanwhile, neurostimulation has been applied successfully to modulate neural activity for medical benefit. Research has increasingly focused on closed-loop interfaces which combine recording and stimulation capabilities for real-time bidirectional interaction with the nervous system. This talk will go through the development of brain machine technologies and how the future revolves around light. This will be explained through the CANDO project, a Newcastle University led project that is using optogenetics to develop a new light based therapy for focal epilepsy.

An Interview with Karen Haller

The Colour Collective UK Patron member interview – Karen Haller

1. How did you first become interested in the world of colour?

I’ve loved colour since I was a little girl. I can still vividly remember a time in kindergarten when I was sitting in front of pots of paint and crayons and being beyond excited because I had all of these colours to play with.

And ever since then the thing that absolutely fascinates me about colour is its incredible power to influence how you think, feel and behave – in an instant.

I instinctively knew this even when I was little, but it wasn’t until I discovered the world of applied colour psychology that all my burning questions around why we respond to colour the way we do began to be answered.

It’s like I stepped into this world of colour alchemy discovering how colour can help boost your confidence, feel happier – changing your mood in an instant.

And now I’m on a mission to share with the rest of the world how amazing colour can make you feel

2. How did this interest/passion end up translating into your careers?

It was when I was studying fashion design and millinery in my native Australia. I remember I was putting dark chocolate brown feathers on a teal blue felt hat and I had one of those epiphany moments. Just seeing the impact of the colours together stopped me in my tracks and I thought, “It’s colour! That’s where I need to go!”

So I began a year-long course at the International School of Colour and Design, which was fantastic but for me only scratched the surface. I wanted to go deeper into how we respond to colour and whether in fact it could be used to enhance emotions in order to modify behaviour.

After quite a lot of searching I came across the highly researched, but seldom utilised area of Applied Colour Psychology and I’ve been implementing this science both as a consultant to businesses, brands, corporations, healthcare and wellbeing and a teacher.

My aim is to reconnect people back to the wonderful world of colour.

3. What is a typical ‘day in the life’ of an applied colour and design psychology consultant?
That’s one of the many things I love about my work, it’s so varied, there’s no typical day which really appeals to my love of variety.

I get to play with colour every day in a multitude of ways.

In my role as an Applied Colour & Design Psychology teacher I teach (my students who are often design industry professionals such as interior designers, graphic designers, architects, product designers) behavioural design for which applied colour and design psychology is a major part. This attracts designers who wish to upskill and focus on wellbeing and human centred design.

Most days I’m also working on projects for major brands, on colour campaigns, looking at the colours behind the launch of a new product or implementing behavioural design to corporate office spaces, or in healthcare.

I also get to do lots of fun stuff to promote the depth and diversity of colour whether that’s doing interviews for major magazines or newspapers or giving talks, on panel discussions at major design shows, exhibitions and organisations, mixing colours, interactive workshops which is really fun as I get to share and spread the love of colour and help everyone see and understand how much colour can impact how they think, feel and behave.

4. What is the biggest misconception people have about your work?

What most people don’t realise is just how deeply colour can influence how we think, feel and behave. Colour has such a huge emotional connection and most people just don’t realise the extent of it.

This often plays out in initial queries that I get when people want to work with me. Their understanding is that red means energy or anger and blue means calming and so they often looking for a one-size-fits-all solution. I show them why there’s no cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all solution.

But in fact, how colour influences us is a complex thing. But what is wonderful about that is when you understand how to use colour in this way it can have such a positive, constructive impact on people and spaces and outcomes. When people grasp this it’s like a lightbulb goes off and they want to use colour in this way. Working with colour can be life changing.

I’ve developed a methodology that I’ve refined over the years to achieve the best possible outcomes. It’s still commonplace that people will say why can’t you just tell me. The analogy I often used is a bit like someone going to the doctor with a sore knee. The sore knee is a symptom, but he needs to do an assessment to find out the cause of it, what lies beneath. My approach with Applied Colour & Design Psychology is similar. An assessment is required to find out the pieces that need to come together in order to create the right positive outcome you’re looking for.

5. Do you have a favourite colour? If so, why?

This is a tricky one – it’s like being asked to pick your favourite child! But if I had to pick one it would be orange, like the colour you see on a Calendula Marigold flower – that bright, warm orange. It makes me smile inside whenever I see it, it connects me to my playful side of my personality and it’s a reminder not to forget to have fun. And hot on its heels would be sunshine yellow. I just love these two colours together.

6. And what about your least favourite?

I’m not a fan of brilliant white which you find in paint colours. It’s the only colour that isn’t sourced from nature – It just makes me shudder. Why someone thought it needed to be invented it is beyond me!

And I can do without grey skies…

7. What is your new book ‘The Little Book of Colour’ all about?

At its absolute essence The Little Book on Colour is helping people how to use colour to live authentic, joyful and natural lives – how to use colour to express the essence of who you are and how to live from the inside out in your own unique style.
Through the psychology of colour, I’m showing you how to do this – to shine more brightly, to express essence of yourself, using the power to transform your Life.
This book was written for everyone who loves colour, wants to fall back in love with colour again and who really wants to understand how powerful a tool it is. To actually get to use it in their daily lives to feel better in their clothes, create homes that feel harmonious to be in, who want to use colour to actually feel better and boost their wellbeing because these are all the things that colour can innately do. So if someone wants to improve an area of their life and find out how to use colour to do that, then that’s who would love to read this book.

8. Where can we find it! 

Just pop over to https://thelittlebookofcolour.com/ where you’ll be able to get the book. There’s also lots of colourful stories and great interviews from colour lovers from around the world and colourful events, workshops and classes.

9. If you could encourage people to embrace one thing about colour, what would it be?

Pick the colours that YOU love, that make you feel good. It’s easy to get caught up in trend colours but they’re only worthwhile if they make you happier, more confident, more uplifted. Don’t worry about what other people think about your colour choices. Colour is very personal. Trust your intuition, your gut feeling. That’s how you should be choosing your colours – on how they make you feel. So go out there explore and have fun with it but most of all surround yourself with colours that make you feel good.

10. What is the best way for people to keep up to date with what you’re doing? 

Just pop over to my Instagram where I share my colour stories and musings @Karen_Haller_Colour
Twitter – @KarenHaller
FB https://www.facebook.com/KarenHallerColourAndDesign/

Hidden Messages: From Cave Art to Graffiti

hidden messages (2)

Hidden Messages: the writing on the wall

Since the beginning of humankind, people have expressed their thoughts symbolically by making marks.  However, the meaning of such expressions is commonly elusive and leaves us to wonder whether there are hidden messages that can be deciphered by those who were/are not part of the culture or time of their origination. Spanning a timescale of about 2000 years, the audience was captivated by a tour of the rock art of the San hunter-gatherer tribes in South Africa and by the modern-day graffiti or mural art of the West.

Aron Mazel (Reader in Heritage Studies at Newcastle University), who has excavated and studied many of the rock shelters in the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa, persuaded us that artistic innovations seen in the representations of animals in particular were directly related to the San people’s environmental changes of the time. How did they deal with the arrival of farming communities who brought with them societal uncertainties and potential threats? We saw examples of beautifully shaded polychrome paintings of native animals such as antelopes. The shadings, lighter at the stomachs rather than backs, create the illusion of three-dimensional depictions of the animals suggesting a light source coming from below. Thus, our imagination took us back in time where Shamans were dancing around a flickering fire in a trance-like state, receiving power from the animals now appearing to them in motion like 3D light. It seems then that the polychrome rock paintings of the Drakensberg Mountains, in addition to their aesthetic beauty, give testimony to ritualistic behaviours that were triggered by worries of changing times.

Robert Hutchinson (experienced graffiti and mural artist who can be found under the pseudonym of Rup-Art) gave a fascinating account of the history of graffiti art and its changing signatures since the 1960ies and little bit of insight into the working mind of a contemporary graffiti artist. We learned about the dangerous craft of Tracy 168, Blade or Dondi who risk(ed) their freedom to make their marks on trains or walls perhaps for the prime reason to get noted, claim a space, or gain the esteem of fellow graffiti artists. Looking at many examples of past and current graffiti art, there was a clear progression of styles and it seems odd that the intention of many artists was/is not to appeal (we saw some beautiful examples), but to create an in-group language that is understood by other peer artists. We were told of the war of styles and the war between acclaimed graffiti and street artists like Robbo or Banksy who took it in their stride to show who the real king of the scene is. Recent changes in the attitude by corporates is leading to a reframing of graffiti art and to its creative use in the marketing. Commissioned examples include the painted subway train to promote the Thanksgiving Day parade, the luxury label of Coach in its handbag designs, or the Regent street shop front.  No matter whether we think of vandalism, brandalism or simply mark making, Rob left no doubt that graffiti as an art form is complex, has evolved in time (and with the quality of spray cans), and has gained its right to be recorded and recognised.

Colour Quiz


Tyne Bank Brewery


Thursday 29th August


Join the Colour Collective UK for a colourful quiz at Tyne Bank Brewery.

Rounds include…
Colour and Science
Colour and Language
Colour in Film
Colour in Literature
Colour in Music

Quiz teams are limited to 6 people max and entry is £1 per person. The winning team will get a CASH JACKPOT of £30.

Food will be available on the night from Mexican street food vendors Eat Mexicana!

The first round will start promptly at 7:30pm. Arrival from 6pm. Be early to make sure you get a table!

Colour Ink. Tattoos and Celebrity Culture

Colour Collective UK welcomed it’s members and design students to ‘Colour Ink’ on Wednesday 27th March at the Northumbria University School of Design. ‘Colour Ink’ was a talk by senior lecturer in Fashion Communications, Dr Lee Barron, whose specialism in celebrity culture intersects with the modern fascination with all things tattooed!

Dr Barron talked us through the social origins of tattoos as tribal markers, and explained their evolution from social symbol to something more personal. He touched on how celebrity fixation can manifest through the mimicry of tattoo motifs and how stars have normalised this practice by being photographed with their ‘skin fashion’ on show! Tattoos are fixed and permanent in a world of constant movement and shifting trends. They’ve become a way to construct our postmodern identities in a way that is rebellious, transgressive but also deeply rooted in tradition.

We would like to thank Northumbria University for the venue and Dr Lee Barron for preparing such a fascinating and enjoyable talk.

Unfinished Business: Exclusive Private View & Curator Talk

Unfinished Business at the Hatton gallery at Newcastle university is a colourful, hard-edged collection of work curated by Newcastle based artist Theresa Poulton. In honour of the Bauhaus Centenary, Unfinished Business explores the relationship between colour and form and looks at the continuum of modernism for a new generation of artists. Poulton treated the Colour Collective UK to a gallery tour in the Ex Libra’s and the Long Gallery and talked us through how she put the exhibition together and her debut into the world of curation. She talked about her decision making for how she hung the work and the logistics for assembling artwork from around the globe. The exhibition continues until 3 May 2019.

Colour Perceptions and Distortions


Ridley Building 2, LT 1.63
Newcastle University,
Framlington Place,


5.30-7.00pm, 14th May 2019


Join the Colour Collective UK for another great event! On the 14th of May, David Simmons and Marie Difoloco will be coming to Newcastle to talk tell us about colour perception in synaethesia, autism, and colour blindness. More information on each individual talk can be found below.

Dr David Simmons (University of Glasgow, Psychology) David.Simmons@glasgow.ac.uk

Individual differences in the perception of colours: From the perspective of synaesthesia and autism

It is tempting to think that everyone experiences colours in the same way we do. Certainly there is a surprising level of agreement over the colours that most people like and dislike, although there is also evidence that this can be heavily influenced by culture and upbringing. But for synaesthetes letters, words and even voices can be coloured, whereas for some autistic individuals seeing certain colours can give rise to discomfort and pain. I shall explore the world of individual differences in colour perception using examples from my own and others’ research.

Marie Difolco (Colour Blindness Awareness Society)

The impact of colour blindness on schoolchildren

Modern teaching methods rely heavily on the use of colour to instruct, highlight and explain. They therefore rely on the ability to see colour in a normal way, but what if some of your pupils don’t? One in 12 boys and one in 200 girls are colour-vision deficient (colour blind). Statistically that is one in every co-Ed class of 30 children. So what effect can colour blindness have on a child’s education? How do you recognise it and what interventions can you adopt to support these children as they move from nursery through to senior school and beyond? The talk will address these questions and conclude that changes are urgently needed to support the significant number of children affected.